Rocco Forte Hotels’ latest property, Hotel de Rome, opens in Berlin on 1 October
2006 and is not to be muddled with the collection’s Hotel de Russie in Rome. While the names may well cause confusion, Rocco Forte Hotels’ ethos dictated that the names be used because they are both of historic significance.
Rocco Forte’s Berlin hotel takes its name from a luxury property called the Grand
Hotel de Rome, which opened in the late 19th century close to the Bebelplatz where
the new Hotel de Rome is located. The original 200-room property was built in 1875
by Adolf Mühling, who included the most modern equipment of the time, such as
central heating, marble bathrooms and a hydraulic lift, and the hotel rapidly became
the most prominent hotel in Berlin, renowned for its high standards of service. By
the end of the 19th century, it had become the main meeting place for the German
aristocracy and for major social events. Following the death of Adolf Mühling’s son
in 1910, the hotel was demolished and replaced by an office building.
The Hotel de Russie in Rome was named after the Hotel de Russie et des Iles
Britanniques, which was visited throughout the early 19th century and early
20th century by Brits during their Grand Tour of Europe and, later, by exiles of the
October Revolution. The hotel was then turned into offices and for 60 years served
as the offices for RAI, Italian Radio and Television. Today, re-imagined and
restored by Rocco Forte Hotels, it is once again known as Hotel de Russie.
As the German Capital’s newest and most spectacular property, Hotel de Rome will
offer its guests the same level of breathtaking luxury as its legendary sister,
Hotel de Russie. However, located in the Bebelplatz, just moments from the
Brandenburg gate and with its story firmly rooted in the city’s history, the Hotel
de Rome will be very much a Berlin hotel.
The building itself has strong national and municipal links, having formerly served
as the Head Office of the Dresdner Bank. By refurbishing this historic site, the
Hotel de Rome maintains its individual, local feel, whilst providing guests with all
the luxuries and amenities of a Rocco Forte hotel.
Within the building’s historic C19th walls, and working under the guidance of Rocco
Forte’s Director of Design Olga Polizzi, Tommaso Ziffer has created a beautiful and
unique interior. Skilfully and sympathetically integrating the old bank’s more
idiosyncratic features, the hotel is a fusion of contemporary chic and old-world
Teutonic grandeur. Architectural features have been carefully restored and in some
cases reconsidered for more unusual usages: the bank’s jewel vault now houses the
spa’s 20-metre swimming pool and comes complete with tiles that reflect the light
thus re-creating the sparkle of real gems.
Hotel de Rome will have 146 beautifully designed bedrooms and suites; each bedroom
will be fitted with discreetly concealed state of the art technology, including flat
screen televisions and iPod docking stations in all the suites.
All the hotel’s bathrooms will have separate walk-in showers and gorgeously designed
limestone vanity tops, glass panelling and mosaic floors. The spacious and elegant
suites will all have their own dining areas, walk-in wardrobes, dressing areas and
separate guest washrooms.
For the business traveller, the Hotel de Rome offers six large meeting rooms as well
as an enormous light filled ballroom, each equipped with every modern convenience.
For those seeking a little relaxation, the hotel’s spa will include several
treatment rooms, offering a wide-range of massages, facials and body treatments, as
well as the swimming pool and high-tech gym. The restaurant will open out to the
building’s inner courtyard to take advantage of the warmer weather and the hotel’s
bar features enviable views over the Bebelplatz.